The Secretary of Agriculture shall, subject to the provisions of this section, issue, and from time to time amend, orders applicable to processors, associations of producers, and others engaged in the handling of any agricultural commodity or product thereof specified in subsection (2) of this section. Such persons are referred to in this chapter as “handlers”. Such orders shall regulate, in the manner hereinafter in this section provided, only such handling of such agricultural commodity, or product thereof, as is in the current of interstate or foreign commerce, or which directly burdens, obstructs, or affects, interstate or foreign commerce in such commodity or product thereof. In carrying out this section, the Secretary shall complete all informal rulemaking actions necessary to respond to recommendations submitted by administrative committees for such orders as expeditiously as possible, but not more than 45 days (to the extent practicable) after submission of the committee recommendations. The Secretary is authorized to implement a producer allotment program and a handler withholding program under the cranberry marketing order in the same crop year through informal rulemaking based on a recommendation and supporting economic analysis submitted by the Cranberry Marketing Committee. Such recommendation and analysis shall be submitted by the Committee no later than March 1 of each year. The Secretary shall establish time frames for each office and agency within the Department of Agriculture to consider the committee recommendations.
Orders issued pursuant to this section shall be applicable only to (A) the following agricultural commodities and the products thereof (except canned or frozen pears, grapefruit, cherries, apples, or cranberries, the products of naval stores, and the products of honeybees), or to any regional, or market classification of any such commodity or product: Milk, fruits (including filberts, almonds, pecans and walnuts but not including apples, other than apples produced in the States of Washington, Oregon, Idaho, New York, Michigan, Maryland, New Jersey, Indiana, California, Maine, Vermont, New Hampshire, Rhode Island, Massachusetts, Connecticut, Colorado, Utah, New Mexico, Illinois, and Ohio, and not including fruits for canning or freezing other than pears, olives, grapefruit, cherries, caneberries (including raspberries, blackberries, and loganberries), cranberries, and apples produced in the States named above except Washington, Oregon, and Idaho), tobacco, vegetables (not including vegetables, other than asparagus, for canning or freezing and not including potatoes for canning, freezing, or other processing), hops, honeybees and naval stores as included in the Naval Stores Act [7 U.S.C. 91 et seq.] and standards established thereunder (including refined or partially refined oleoresin): Provided, That no order issued pursuant to this section shall be effective as to any grapefruit for canning or freezing unless the Secretary of Agriculture determines, in addition to other findings and determinations required by this chapter, that the issuance of such order is approved or favored by the processors who, during a representative period determined by the Secretary, have been engaged in canning or freezing such commodity for market and have canned or frozen for market more than 50 per centum of the total volume of such commodity canned or frozen for market during such representative period; and (B) any agricultural commodity (except honey, cotton, rice, wheat, corn, grain sorghums, oats, barley, rye, sugarcane, sugarbeets, wool, mohair, livestock, soybeans, cottonseed, flaxseed, poultry (but not excepting turkeys and not excepting poultry which produce commercial eggs), fruits and vegetables for canning or freezing, including potatoes for canning, freezing, or other processing  and apples), or any regional or market classification thereof, not subject to orders under (A) of this subdivision, but not the products (including canned or frozen commodities or products) thereof. No order issued pursuant to this section shall be effective as to cherries, apples, or cranberries for canning or freezing unless the Secretary of Agriculture determines, in addition to other required findings and determinations, that the issuance of such order is approved or favored by processors who, during a representative period determined by the Secretary, have engaged in canning or freezing such commodity for market and have frozen or canned more than 50 per centum of the total volume of the commodity to be regulated which was canned or frozen within the production area, or marketed within the marketing area, defined in such order, during such representative period. No order issued pursuant to this section shall be applicable to peanuts produced in more than one of the following production areas: the Virginia-Carolina production area, the Southeast production area, and the Southwest production area. If the Secretary determines that the declared policy of this chapter will be better achieved thereby (i) the commodities of the same general class and used wholly or in part for the same purposes may be combined and treated as a single commodity and (ii) the portion of an agricultural commodity devoted to or marketed for a particular use or combination of uses, may be treated as a separate agricultural commodity. All agricultural commodities and products covered hereby shall be deemed specified herein for the purposes of subsections (6) and (7).
Whenever the Secretary of Agriculture has reason to believe that the issuance of an order will tend to effectuate the declared policy of this chapter with respect to any commodity or product thereof specified in subsection (2) of this section, he shall give due notice of and an opportunity for a hearing upon a proposed order.
After such notice and opportunity for hearing, the Secretary of Agriculture shall issue an order if he finds, and sets forth in such order, upon the evidence introduced at such hearing (in addition to such other findings as may be specifically required by this section) that the issuance of such order and all of the terms and conditions thereof will tend to effectuate the declared policy of this chapter with respect to such commodity.
No order shall be issued under this section unless it regulates the handling of the commodity or product covered thereby in the same manner as, and is made applicable only to persons in the respective classes of industrial or commercial activity specified in, a marketing agreement upon which a hearing has been held. No order shall be issued under this chapter prohibiting, regulating, or restricting the advertising of any commodity or product covered thereby, nor shall any marketing agreement contain any provision prohibiting, regulating, or restricting the advertising of any commodity, or product covered by such marketing agreement.
Whenever, pursuant to the provisions of this section, the Secretary is required to determine the approval or disapproval of producers with respect to the issuance of any order, or any term or condition thereof, or the termination thereof, the Secretary shall consider the approval or disapproval by any cooperative association of producers, bona fide engaged in marketing the commodity or product thereof covered by such order, or in rendering services for or advancing the interests of the producers of such commodity, as the approval or disapproval of the producers who are members of, stockholders in, or under contract with, such cooperative association of producers.
The provisions of this section and section 608d of this title applicable to orders shall be applicable to amendments to orders.
Not later than 60 days after the date of enactment of this subparagraph, the Secretary shall issue, using informal rulemaking, supplemental rules of practice to define guidelines and timeframes for the rulemaking process relating to amendments to orders.
A post-hearing brief may be filed under this paragraph not later than 60 days after the date of an amendment hearing regarding a milk marketing order.
A recommended decision on a proposed amendment to an order shall be issued not later than 90 days after the deadline for the submission of post-hearing briefs.
If the Secretary determines it is necessary to improve or expedite rulemaking under this subsection, the Secretary may impose an assessment on the affected industry to supplement appropriated funds for the procurement of service providers, such as court reporters.
The Secretary may use rulemaking under section 553 of title 5 to amend orders, other than provisions of orders that directly affect milk prices.
The Secretary of Agriculture, prior to prescribing any term in any marketing agreement or order, or amendment thereto, relating to milk or its products, if such term is to fix minimum prices to be paid to producers or associations of producers, or prior to modifying the price fixed in any such term, shall ascertain the parity prices of such commodities. The prices which it is declared to be the policy of Congress to establish in section 602 of this title shall, for the purposes of such agreement, order, or amendment, be adjusted to reflect the price of feeds, the available supplies of feeds, and other economic conditions which affect market supply and demand for milk or its products in the marketing area to which the contemplated marketing agreement, order, or amendment relates. Whenever the Secretary finds, upon the basis of the evidence adduced at the hearing required by section 608b of this title or this section, as the case may be, that the parity prices of such commodities are not reasonable in view of the price of feeds, the available supplies of feeds, and other economic conditions which affect market supply and demand for milk and its products in the marketing area to which the contemplated agreement, order, or amendment relates, he shall fix such prices as he finds will reflect such factors, insure a sufficient quantity of pure and wholesome milk, and be in the public interest. Thereafter, as the Secretary finds necessary on account of changed circumstances, he shall, after due notice and opportunity for hearing, make adjustments in such prices.
For the purpose of ascertaining whether the issuance of an order is approved or favored by producers or processors, as required under the applicable provisions of this chapter, the Secretary may conduct a referendum among producers or processors and in the case of an order other than an amendatory order shall do so. The requirements of approval or favor under any such provision shall be held to be complied with if, of the total number of producers or processors, or the total volume of production, as the case may be, represented in such referendum, the percentage approving or favoring is equal to or in excess of the percentage required under such provision. The terms and conditions of the proposed order shall be described by the Secretary in the ballot used in the conduct of the referendum. The nature, content, or extent of such description shall not be a basis for attacking the legality of the order or any action relating thereto. Nothing in this subsection shall be construed as limiting representation by cooperative associations as provided in subsection (12) of this section. For the purpose of ascertaining whether the issuance of an order applicable to pears for canning or freezing is approved or favored by producers as required under the applicable provisions of this chapter, the Secretary shall conduct a referendum among producers in each State in which pears for canning or freezing are proposed to be included within the provisions of such marketing order and the requirements of approval or favor under any such provisions applicable to pears for canning or freezing shall be held to be complied with if, of the total number of producers, or the total volume of production, as the case may be, represented in such referendum, the percentage approving or favoring is equal to or in excess of 66⅔ per centum except that in the event that pear producers in any State fail to approve or favor the issuance of any such marketing order, it shall not be made effective in such State.